2nd Amendment; What 2nd Amendment?

“In what looks to be a terrible ruling for Maryland gun owners a federal judge has essentially ruled that guns that were regulated by the state of Maryland last year, including AR-15 and AK style rifles (as well as other magazine fed, semi-auto rifles with certain features), “fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual arms,” according to a 47 page opinion by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake.”

http://gunssavelives.net/blog/court-cases/breaking-federal-judge-rules-ar-15s-are-dangerous-and-unusual-not-protected-by-2nd-amendment/

I am not even sure what to say to this one…

If this doesn’t go to the Supreme Court and get struck down, it could create a illegal “legal” precedent that does not reflect favorably for gun owners. The U.S. Constitution is being shredded right in front of us. The 2nd Amendment clearly states that

“the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

At what point do we as a people choose the U.S. Constitution over our government’s decrees? At what point do we demand our government follow its own laws and uphold the Constitution rather than continually circumventing it? 

Our 3rd President said it best:

“Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers… a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” – Thomas Jefferson

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Michael Moore’s Anti-Capitalist Hypocrisy

While I have nothing against rich people in general, anti-capitalist author and documentary maker Michael Moore disclosed this week in his divorce filings that he owns 9 houses (better described as mansions) and his net worth is pegged at approximately 50 million dollars.

For a guy who has made a career out of shredding on corporations, rich people, and capitalism in general, it seems that capitalism is treating Moore awfully well. Even sadder still, the left seems determined to ignore Moore’s hypocrisy.

Breitbart has the story.

Establishment Party in Flames: Cantor’s Loss Should Give Us Hope.

In what has undoubtedly shaken the Republican Party establishment down to its core, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Virginia primary to a small-town economics professor by the name of Dave Brat (a Michigan native). Cantor, who currently hold’s the second most powerful position in Congress, and who according to the National Review outspent Brat 40-1 on the campaign trail, is the latest establishment party hack to learn that there are still some principled, conservative voters who will hold public officials accountable at the voting booth.

While claiming to be a small-government conservative, Cantor has been anything but an advocate for shrinking government during his tenure in Washington. He is pro-gun control, pro-war, pro-government surveillance, and voted yes on the so-called “Patriot” Act as well as its later expansion which included permitting warrantless wiretapping.

This week, small-government voters raised their voice and let Washington know that they will not tolerate RINOs who claim small-government in principle, but prevent it with every vote they make. It’s time to let Washington and the establishment GOP know that this is our party and we are taking it back. The Republican Party has become a cesspool of double-faced, corporate spenders who whittle away our liberties in the interest of growing big-government. It’s time to clean house (and Senate) and vote small-government, liberty-minded candidates into office.

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Republican in Name Only

If you are unsure if your state, district, or precinct has a liberty-minded candidate running for office, contact me here or on twitter; I may be able to help.

 

An Update on Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage: Adverse Effects Already Starting

Update on a post I made back in April about Seattle’s $15 minimum wage:

According to the Washington Policy Center,

Many SeaTac businesses have tacked on an additional fee to mitigate the increased cost of labor.  On the receipt below, a $6.93 “living wage surcharge” was added to a $84.00 parking charge.  That is the equivalent of a 8.25% tax.

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Contrary to what supporters claim, increasing the minimum wage does not create jobs and stimulate the economy.  The higher wages are not free money.  The increased cost must either be absorbed by the employer, which is impossible for many who already operate on shoe-string profit margins, or it must be passed on to workers, in the form of reduced hours and benefits, and consumers, in the form of higher prices.  Either way, someone pays.

As socialist leaders in Seattle fight to bring egalitarianism to the working class within their city, little do the workers know that they are actually be robbed tacitly by those who claim to be helping them.

The great Chicago school economist Milton Friedman said it best:

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Seattle would be wise to turn away from their unsustainable minimum wage before it destroys their local economy. Surcharges are only the beginning; cost-of-living expenses will soon begin inflate to match the new wage standard, and only highly skilled workers will be employable at the new minimum wage. As I have stated on my other blog previously (relating to Michigan’s new minimum wage law),

Entry level workers (such as teenagers and those who have not developed professional skills) and who are not profitable to employ at the new minimum pay threshold will simply find themselves unemployable, and eventually replaced with touchscreens and self-checkouts. McDonald’s workers in Europe are already being replaced by touch screen kioasks. We cannot legislate wages that the market does not support.

War is Not the Answer; War is the Problem.

This Memorial Day weekend, I posted an update to my Facebook page that I was certain would bring a hailstorm of torches, pitchforks, and tar and feathers from my more conservative leaning, typically pro-war friends; surprisingly it did not, and I was actually met with a lot of support. Here is what I said:

As we enjoy Memorial Day this year, let it be more than a day where we honor the fallen with parades and barbecues. While I support our troops, I reject the wars. Too many of our young men and women have died needlessly at the hands of our bloodthirsty empire. To truly memorialize those who have died in service to this country, question why they had to die in the first place. How many wars have we fought that were truly in defense of our freedoms? May those who have died for this country rest in peace; we honor your sacrifice, and may we learn from our country’s mistakes and yearn for peace as we move forward.

Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s greatest political minds, once stated that

War…is as much a punishment to the punisher as to the sufferer.

To be clear, there are no winners in war; everyone loses. With every proxy-war that has occurred since World War II, the U.S.  has brought back too many flag covered coffins and has not utilized enough diplomacy.

Today, the use of military drones has decreased the number of our men in uniform that come back draped in American flags, but the collateral damage is no better.  In the last 5 years, U.S. drone strikes have killed 2400 people; of which, an estimated 200 have been Pakistani children. If you have the stomach to read it, a list of the children’s names and ages can be read here

Fallen U.S. Soldier_Korean War

Fallen U.S. Soldier

War is not the answer to this country’s problems; war is the problem with this country.  If this nation put half the effort into peace that it currently puts into empire building and global interventionism, there would be fewer widows and fatherless children observing memorial day, and more vets celebrating Veteran’s day with their families. It’s time for the U.S. to end the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about 53 years ago.

Nuclear War

The U.S. is the only nation that has used nuclear warheads

I’ll close with several of my favorite quotes on this topic:

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” –James Madison

“History has witnessed the failure of many endeavors to impose peace by war, cooperation by coercion, unanimity by slaughtering dissidents…. A lasting order cannot be established by bayonets.” -Ludwig von Mises

 

The Results of the Military Industrial Complex

Who Do the Police Protect and Serve?

While this is an older story, I just came across it today. Back in 2012, a New Mexico police officer tasered a 10 year old boy at a career day event at his school because, when asked to clean the officer’s patrol car, the boy stated he didn’t want to. According to the boy’s account, the officer told him that he would show the boy what happens to those who do not listen to the police, and then tasered the 10 year old in the chest until he blacked out.

While a lawsuit was filed and has since been closed (with an undisclosed agreement reached between the boy’s family and the state of New Mexico), this story speaks volumes on the state of our police forces today. Following this incident, the officer was neither fired nor relieved of his duties.

Today, more than ever before, we need to demand accountability from our public officials, and make them take responsibility for their actions. How many more child need to get tased before we stand up and demand accountability?

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The “Affordable” Care Act: What the Media is Not Telling You

Reposted from the Michigan Political Review

If you listen to the mainstream media, hardly a day goes by that you do not hear something in the news about how enrollments are better than expected for the Affordable Care Act (A.C.A.). The media paints an especially rosy picture when talking about the affects the government’s health care mandate. But here is something the media isn’t telling you; all over the country, people are feeling the effects of the government’s supposedly “affordable” care.

Two weeks ago, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, 450 administrative and executive employees of Saint Joseph Hospital were let go.  According to an insider (who will remain anonymous), the terminated employees were given 1 week of severance pay for each year that they had worked for the health system.  Sadly, this story has not even made local news yet. It seems that the mainstream media is all too eager to selectively ignore the negative affects that the federal government’s healthcare takeover, and focus only on cherry-picked highlights.  Sadly, for 450 former employees of St. Joseph Health System, the truth can no longer be ignored.

As the Affordable Care Act continues to roll out, what happened in Ypsilanti is only the beginning. From the Becker Hospital Review:

The following are hospital layoffs and workforce reductions that have occurred so far this year and affected more than 100 employees. They are listed below by number of positions affected.

1. Cleveland Clinic cut several hundredopen positions, and about 700 workers took early retirement offers as part of the system’s plan to cut $330 million.

2. Northern Berkshire Healthcare in North Adams, Mass., closed North Adams Regional Hospital, its home health facility and its three hospital-owned physician practices. About 530 full- and part-time employees were affected.

3. Five-hundred employees at Louisville-based KentuckyOne Health were laid off, and 200 additional vacant positions were eliminated.

4. Berkeley, Calf.-based Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate, eliminated 358 jobs. The cuts affected the equivalent of 175 full-time positions.

5. Financially beleaguered Crozer-Keystone Health System in Springfield, Pa., announced it would eliminate 250 positions. The job cuts affected physicians and several managers.

6. Johnson City, Tenn.-based Mountain States Health Alliance announced plans to eliminate 116 filled positionsand cut 45 vacant positions in a cost-cutting move. The system said direct patient care areas would not be affected.

7. St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., laid off 152 employees and is leaving 18 positions vacant as part of a cost-cutting initiative. The hospital has experienced low patient volumes and reimbursement cuts and is cutting 5 percent of its budget for the current fiscal year.

8. Las Vegas-based University Medical Center laid off 105 employees, including nurses, as it plans to close four care centers.

9. Worcester, Mass.-based UMass Memorial Health Care announced its third workforce reduction in less than a year, in which it will eliminate 103 full-time equivalent positions, including 81 nursing positions. While some employees will be laid off, the loss of 103 positions will also be achieved through reducing employee hours and leaving positions vacant.

10. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente issued layoff notices to 101 employees of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, which operates one hospital and 20 clinics on three Hawaiian islands. The affected employees include 66 security guards and 16 patient transporters, among other positions.

With the government’s mandate that all citizens must purchase health insurance, one would think the healthcare industry would be booming more than it ever has before;  yet sadly, even the industry that should be profiting the most is making significant staffing cuts.

It’s time for the government to get out of the healthcare industry and let the free market make healthcare affordable for all.  The government has proved that it can barely design a website that can handle the mandatory enrollment traffic let alone manage our nation’s healthcare system.

Waiting on Healthcare.gov

Waiting on Healthcare.gov

Click here to see if your state legislature is actively working to repeal or nullify the Affordable Care Act at the state level.  My home state of Michigan is not; it’s time for us to contact our state representatives and let them know that we will hold them accountable at the voting booth. It’s time to nullify the federal government’s job killing healthcare takeover.

Immigration Reform: Those Who Work are Not the Problem

Politico has an interesting article out today.  Howard Dean Bailey, a U.S. Navy veteran from Kingston, Jamaica, had lived in the U.S  as a legal immigrant since the age of 17, when he and his mother came to the U.S. in pursuit of a better life. Bailey was pursuing the American dream;  he was working full time as a truck driver, owned a house, and had applied for U.S. citizenship in 2005 (but was denied on account of a technicality) . In 2010, all of that changed when the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) stormed his home and took Bailey away from his wife and two children at gun point. Bailey spent the next two years being bumped around various federal immigration detention centers  in the U.S. before he was eventually shackled and deported to Jamaica (a country he had not been to in 24 years).

While a sad and thought provoking read, Bailey’s story is not uncommon. The U.S. certainly does have an immigration problem that needs to be dealt with. While an unpopular opinion among many, I believe the U.S. should have allowed Howard Dean Bailey to stay in the United States; as a veteran and as a parent of two U.S. citizens, he was not a threat or a burden to the U.S. , and was earning a living without the use of welfare.

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Howard Dean Bailey, U.S. Navy Veteran, deported and denied citizenship.

Hard working immigrants who are pursing their unique version of the American dream are what this country should be all about (it’s why my family immigrated here from Ireland during the Great Famine of 1845-1852). People like Bailey are not the problem; it is those who dwell in this country (citizen or immigrant) who have no intention of working that are the issue that we need to deal with. We do not need more people looking for handouts, but those who are willing to work hard and pursue the dream that has made this country great should be welcome to do so here.

If your position on immigration is that we should close our borders because immigrants are taking all the good jobs, you may need to check your work ethic in the mirror. Perhaps the reason so many immigrants find good jobs here in the U.S. is because most of them lack the entitlement attitude that plagues this nation. They are willing to work hard and ask for little in return. They come here willing to do whatever it takes to earn what those of us born here have been freely given and often take for granted.

Immigrants at Ellis Island

Immigrants at Ellis Island

I desire nothing more for our country than open borders and freedom for all people to be whatever they are willing to work hard enough to become. Howard Dean Bailey was successfully pursuing this dream when he was dragged away from his wife and children due to an unjust legal system hellbent on technicalities. Is this how we repay those who immigrate to the U.S. in pursuit of the American dream; is this how we repay a veteran?

America, it is time to change our immigration policy; I know too many natural born Americans who are not half the American Howard Dean Bailey tried to be. The system is broken.

“Affordable” Care: Irony at Its Finest

According to Politico, celebrities are tweeting to their followers to sign up for healthcare before today’s looming deadline hits.

Apparently celebrities, in their infinite wealth, do not understand that many Americans simply cannot afford health insurance anymore. Forcing people to buy something they cannot afford or simply do not want is both stupid and typical of the U.S. government in general. But alas, I repeat myself. Where else but in America can we take away someone’s voluntarily agreed upon health plan because it does not meet bureaucratic approval, and then force the same individual to purchase a more expensive healthcare plan or be fined for not being able to afford the mandated new plan?

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I think we can all agree the U.S. healthcare system has some problems that need to be addressed, but the “Affordable” care act appears to come at a cost that figuratively and literally,  few Americans are willing to pay.